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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all I'm new to this forum. I have just quickly setup my aquarium to test run lights, Co2, lighting and the establish the biological filter. Atm there is just a few plants in pots and a pair of swordtails. I will drain my tank, add many plants, fish and substrate later after we move house in a month or so. My tank is 36' x 24' x 24. It has a sump underneath with a trickle filter and it is also where I inject the co2. So far my co2 is right on the money with daily ph readings. My question is mainly concerning the lighting- Two radion pros(from the previous successful marine setup). Ideally these would not be lights I would choose for a planted aquarium but I have them and they are very expensive, so I want to trial them. Ecotec marine has a planted tank lighting schedule, which I have selected. Atm it is running for 12 hours on 12 hours off, obviously it ramps up and down within the 12 hours and mainly concentrates on green, red and white spectrums. I know it is very early days but has anyone had any experience with running these lights over a planted tank? And give me any advice?
 

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I wouldn't rely on a preset schedule. Those lights are capable of producing par values well over whats needed for a planted tank and while that schedule is designed for FW application, who knows what the values will be pushing and if it will be acceptable for your particular needs. People tend to push lighting way too high and cause algae issues, including myself. I've found that with dimmable lights the best way is to actually start very low and gradually increase lighting. It takes time but it works very well. An example would be to find a spectrum you enjoy (RBG colors) and start at around 30% intensity, give it a week. No noticeable algae? bump it up and test it out again for another week. I feel a process like this, while slow, will provide a much better experience in the long run. Also, 12 hour photo period can be too long, you said the light intensity varies between the photo period but without knowing what those par levels are, I'd be afraid of having them on that long. Typically you want about 8ish hours of PAR levels you wish to attain (low, medium, high) and if you want additional hours for viewing purposes they need to be at negligible amounts (extremely low par).

Again, id be wary of a preset schedule without knowing the exact par levels it was pushing and at what time.
 

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I would guess that 12 hours at full is too much. 8 hours is a better starting point - All depending on the PAR you are running of course, as was said above, you need to be running pretty low par much beyond 8 hours. I just entered into high light this year and was battling algae for the first few months. I think I have finally gotten it dialed in to where I have decent growth without too much algae. My current cycle is: 4 hours @ ~20 PAR (sunrise), 6 hours @ ~75 PAR, 4 hours @ ~5 PAR (moonlight).

I would think you would have to run crazy amounts of CO2 to get decent concentrations with a trickle filter . . . how are you determining CO2 concentration and how fast are you going through CO2 canisters?

-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have no idea on par other than spec that ecotec marine have on there website. I will just run whites at 50% and with 4% with red green and uv. On for 8 hours, I'll have to see how my plants go. Regarding the co2, I run it after my trickle filter in the middle section of my sump which normally would have no flow, but I'm running a empty media reactor that blasts right into where the co2 is released. I read ph readings daily with a test kit, it's usually on 7.5 in the morning and 6.5-7.00 just before lights off. I am still waiting for a drop checker. My co2 bottle isnt very large at all the system and it has only Been running a week, I have it dialed on about two bubbles a second.
 
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